What child is this?

With Us

A tree is sawn in half and tugged indoors
Where lights and angels dance across its leaves.
Strong hearts, thin voices carry praise to praise
And once again the world sits up straight,
rose-cheeked. Advent means coming.

A sweating mother spreads her legs and screams.
Her fervent husband, still no father, twists
Helpless hands. How can this sword be borne?
God fills His lungs and infant-screams away
the night. Advent means coming.

A throaty singer poises, hovering notes,
And music spills to make the world spin.
Clay shards of shattered pots cut to the heart,
But who among the choir hears the song?
Some do. Advent means coming.

A bolt of heaven cuts across the stars
And sheep and men are pressed against the dirt.
The heralds’ voices fragment thought and sense,
Their words crack temples, shiver mountain tops
and crowns. Advent means coming.

A drunken king, beard flaked with filth and wine
Half-coiling sleepless on his couch, contorts
His beaded brow with crazy, sour dreams,
Which hound his ears like Rachel’s howling grief
to come. Advent means coming.

A prophet searches skies till eyes are gone
And still he waits for peace, for pieces, time
And time again– But then! His hands,
His fingers touch the child, feel the rise
and fall. Advent means coming.

A family closes, praises, prays, and sees
Their mother mangled, spirit-ebbed and torn.
The marriage of the Lamb is come, and we
And she are called to be the bride of God
With us. Advent means coming.